patterns and models of sustainability and resilience have different significant
impacts on urban form both in its research and practice, which attempts to
frame principled approaches regarding the delicate relationships between the
built, the natural and the social environments.
term ‘resilience’ is increasingly being used in different contexts, from psychological,
physical, social, ecological, city, and community to individual resilience. Furthermore,
‘Resilience’ is now being used in land use planning context by interchangeably
used the term resilience planning with sustainability.
has been closely linked with sustainability for more than a decade which
provides a major theoretical contribution to understand the possible sources of
sustainability (Fiskel 2006, Folke 2006). Carpenter et al. (2001, p. 765) link
resilience to sustainability, as the term “resilience” is often used to
describe the characteristic attributes of a system that are related to sustainability.
Walker and Salt (2006, p. xiii) define resilience as “the capacity of a system
to absorb disturbance and still retain its basic function and structure”. By understanding
urban resilience and urban sustainability, as two concepts that promote a
diversity of solutions to social-ecological problems, implies that urban
planning needs to incorporate them to further transform cities (Wilkinson
2012). Incorporating resilience to reinforce system dynamics is the key to achieve
future desired sustainability states.
concept of resilience is gaining increasing importance across different literatures
on cities and climate change. However, there are still conflicts among the
different literatures about how to define and measure resilience. It is
acceptable that resilience is a good thing but defining it depends on the
choices made. So there is a need to be specific about the choices involved in
increased resilience, first by asking what should be resilient – the built
environment, infrastructure or the urban form.
is mostly discussed as bouncing back from a disturbance. However, the recent more
ecological concept of resilience is not only about recovery and bouncing back
from a disturbance but also the ability to adapt, often termed as adaptive
capacity. In this context resilience is the capacity of a system to experience
shocks while maintaining its function, structure, and, therefore, identity.
concept of urban resilience, as defined by Holling (1987) is “the ability of a
city to absorb a disturbance while maintaining its functions and structure”.
Urban Resilience has been defined as the amount of disturbance an urban system can absorb while retaining
its state, and the extent to which the system can build and increase its
capacity for adapting the changes (Folke et al 2004). Although resilience has
been explored in many complex social-ecological systems (Folke et al 2004) it
has only recently been applied in the context of cities (Ernstson et al 2010). “A
Resilient City is one that has developed capacities to help absorb future
shocks and stresses to its social, economic, and technical systems and
infrastructures so as to still be able to maintain essentially the same functions,
structures, systems, and identity.”
the cities must be focused on
sustainable development agenda, as among
the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development, the Goal 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe,
resilient and sustainable” also emphasize on the resiliency and sustainability
of the cities. The planning and design professions of cities need to be challenged
to find new patterns, new technologies, new economic models, new public services,
and more to plan and implement the strategies which eventually increase the resilience
capacities of our cities. However, in order to
increase the capacities of cities for resilience, the cities will need to adopt
such urban planning and building design approaches which increase their
abilities to better adapt and respond to social, physical, ecological and
increase the capacity of cities for resilience, it is widely accepted that
cities must be at focus in the sustainable development agenda as the urban
forms of cities affect their overall environment performance and management. Therefore,
sustainable urban form can be defined as the form which enables the city to function
within its natural and manmade carrying capacities that is user friendly to the
community and also promotes social equity through involving them in the
decision making processes. Hence, urban form is a spatial composition of
elements, and if it is based on sustainable concepts, can lead to the
resilience and sustainability of cities.
concept of resilience offers a means to tackle the long-term growth of the urban
form and to explore the changes and their effectiveness on different approaches
regarding planning, design, operation, management, value and governance, sustainability
debate, and climate change, which helped to focus consideration on fragilities
and the need to create resilience across these scales.
1.1. Problem Statement
There is a strong relationship between
density, form, sustainability and resilience (Heng and Malone-Lee 2009). There
has also been an interacting relationship between urban form and the people
existing within the urban form – the public realm or the streets. It is the
relationship between the public realm and the city that has defined how cities
look and also how they function. When this relationship breaks down and fails
to function, cities die or whither. On contrary, when this relationship persists,
the cities become resilient. As a result, the study of urban form ultimately
becomes a study of urban resilience – the Resilient City.
resilience is a critical element of sustainable development. Investing in
resilience contributes to long-term sustainability by ensuring current
development gains and safeguarded future generations’ needs. Urban resilience
is a systemic property and needs to be examined as an interconnected concept of
urban sustainability, however in order to understand the different dimensions of
urban resilience and how they relate to each other in making adaptive cities
and systems is also related to the overall urban planning.
issue of urban resilience is one of increasing urgency for the World Bank Group
and is completely associated with the development objectives of the broader
development community. Investment decisions taken now will have long-term
impact for development in the future and prove to be critical in preventing
cities from unsustainable development pathways, or being exposed to
increasingly intense and frequent urban shocks and stresses. As the cities are homes to the future,
with more than 60% of world population living in cities, the focus is on how to
make them more sustainable in terms of consumption, living conditions and
socio-environmental paths. Among the developed countries, Europe is in general
in a good position for developing the new tools and strategies needed towards a
positive transition to resilient and sustainable urban areas.
On the other hand, developing countries want
to attract the human capital for economic aspect (Suzuki et al. 2010). In the
last few decades, there has been an extraordinary urban growth in the
developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa, where the built up urban
area is projected to increase three times from year 2000 to 2030. The developing
countries consider it as an opportunity and regard it to be preferable. The
major issues seen in the developing world including long travel distances,
health, congestion and fuel emissions, inequity, pollution and degrading
environment, loss of land such as agricultural and natural assets are due to an
impact of a physical urban form (Barrow 1995). Moreover, a major transformation
to cities and urban centers due to economic development, industrialization, and
rural-urban migration has been experienced throughout the world and
particularly in the developing countries causing them to grow beyond their
administrative limits. This growth requires the cities and urban centers to be
resilient so that they can absorb these changes and disturbance
while sustaining its functions and structure.
the critical question of urban resilience is that whether the old and
contemporary urban areas and their different communities are ready to face a
multiplicity of challenges and uncertainties in the future. Most importantly,
there is a need to determine whether the urban areas and communities, at the present,
focus to adopt such means which ultimately move them from a vulnerable to a more
resilient state. Moreover, since human action contributes in changing the ecosystem
locally and globally (Chapin et al., 2011; Folke et al., 2011), it is a need of
time to determine up to what extent the cities should be resilient in order to
contribute to environmental protection, and urban sustainability.
significance of sustainability is internationally acclaimed and various urban
forms evolved through modern urban planning practices, but often the concern
for their negative impacts is neglected. Although urban form has positive or
negative impact on accessibility to facilities, travel attributes (distance and
time), energy used, social equity, efficient use of land, economic benefits,
liveliness, etc. But the debate on the most suitable urban form to achieve sustainability
and resilience is still unresolved. To evolve urban sustainability and urban
resilience, the relationships between urban form and the various elements of a
city need to be understood.
In Pakistan, the scales of urbanization
effects to population lived in a city are alarming to resilience, sustainability
and standard of life. As in case of Lahore, with the increasing rate of
urbanization & migration from the surrounding areas into the city, the
change in urban form and infrastructure are challenging the urban areas to be
adaptive and resilient. Besides, the global sustainability as the ecological
footprint will certainly be impacted due to the urbanization in Pakistan.
Here the question arises to ponder on that: how
to increase and improve the capacity of the urban areas so that they can absorb
and adopt the changes and disturbances while simultaneously bringing the city
towards a sustainable and resilient path. Since cities are constantly evolving
and at any point of time exhibit their unique character through their urban
structure, which can be mapped and measured. However, cities have an obscured
structure which needs to be understood through analyzing the data, particularly
the population distribution and land use. The scales including individual
building, street, urban block, neighborhood and city can be used to measure
urban form. The way urban form is measured, analyzed and ultimately understood
is influence by these levels of spatial disaggregation influence. Through understanding the spatial
organization of a city, the planners can be able to decide the course of action
for future development and frame strategies that provide the city a resilient
and sustainable path.
Some of the major criteria that can be used
in a framework for assessment of urban resilience include infrastructure, urban
form, social and demographics, security, environment, economy, and institutions.
Out of these, the urban form and its characteristics including density,
transportation network, accessibility, mixed use land composition, and
buildings & their design have been used for the assessment of urban
resilience of the selected case study area.
central premise of this study is that the urban form of a city can affect its
resilience and sustainability. This study is an attempt to measure the existing
urban form of a city and to assess its potential to develop it towards more
sustainable and resilient existence. This research study proposes to focus on
the resilience of urban design and urban form of the selected areas as case
study and to determine the final resilience of these areas using the different
indicators of urban form and GIS based Spatial Analysis.
1.2. Research Questions
Following are the research question for this study.
What are the
different policies adopted in developed and developing countries to improve the
resilience of urban areas?
What is the
capacity of the selected case study areas in terms of urban form and its
indicators by conducting different surveys in the selected case study areas?
Which maps can
be generated based on selected indicators of urban form using Geographic
What is the
final resilience of the selected case study areas by generating a combined map
for all the urban form indicators using the GIS spatial analysis?
recommendations can be made for improving the resilience of the urban areas?
1.3. Research Objectives
aim of this research is to assess the resilience of urban areas towards urban form
using the GIS Based Spatial Analysis. However, following are the specific
objectives of the research:
To review the
literature addressing importance of city’s resilience towards urban form and
related policies adopted in developed and developing countries to improve the
resilience of urban areas.
To determine the
resilience in terms of urban form and its indicators by conducting different
surveys in the selected case study areas.
To generate the
maps based on selected indicators of urban form using Geographic Information
To assess the
final resilience of the selected case study areas by generating a combined map
for all the urban form indicators using the GIS spatial analysis.
draw conclusions and make recommendations for improving the resilience of the selected
case study areas/urban areas.
1.4. Justification of the Research
As the cities are considered to be homes to the future
generations, with more than 60% of world population living in cities, the focus
is on how to make them more sustainable in terms of consumption, living
conditions and socio-environmental footprint. Based on recognizing
environmental uncertainty and limited urban capacity, different urban
development strategies are framed in a way that combines both resilience and
sustainability. Both these concepts of resilience and sustainability are
interconnected and are vital for the present and future development of urban
areas and ultimately the countries. Among the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs): the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Goal 11 “Make cities
and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” also emphasize
on the resiliency and sustainability of the cities. Moreover, it is the extreme
need of today’s cities of the world to do city planning in a way that maximize
the capacity of the cities for both the present and future generation in all
is experiencing rapid urban growth and increase in its population. Over time
industrialization, rural urban migration, increased urbanization, change in
infrastructure and urban form in Lahore, need the city to be resilient and capable
to absorb these changes and disturbances while maintaining its functions and
a research is needed to suggest ways in order to increase the opportunities for
such development which would improve the capacity of the city and make it
resilient and sustainable as limited studies on resilience assessment have been
conducted in Lahore till now. This research will carry out the resilience
assessment with the help of indicators of Urban Form and GIS based spatial
analysis. The GIS spatial analysis will help to identify the level of
resilience in urban areas. The findings of this research will enable the
responsible authorities to perceive and grasp the locations required for
improvement and ultimately make the city resilient and sustainable.
1.5. Scope of the Research
research mainly focuses on resilience assessment in selected housing schemes to
suggest measures for its improvement in order to achieve the sustainable
development goal of making cities and human
settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. For this
research thesis, two housing schemes of Lahore were selected as case study
areas. The main objective is to examine the resilience of the selected urban
areas. This research also aims at comparing the urban form of both schemes in
order to identify which neighborhood design and urban form among both the
schemes is more viable, friendly and conducive to resilience and sustainability.
macro level, literature review is carried out to find out different approaches
adopted in developed and developing countries to improve the resilience of the urban
areas. The resilience for the selected case study areas was investigated using
the selected indicators of urban form by conducting different surveys and
generating maps for each or the selected indicator. In order to observe the final resilience of
the selected case study areas a combined map for all the urban form indicators were
generated using the GIS spatial analysis.